Thursday, July 6, 2017
Record quarterly profit for Samsung; Untreatable 'superbug' spreading; A robot waitress in Pakistan
1 Record quarterly profit for Samsung (BBC) Samsung Electronics has posted its biggest ever quarterly profit thanks to surging global demand for memory chips. The South Korean tech giant reported an operating profit of $12bn in the three months to June, up 72% on a year earlier.
Sales climbed 18% to 60 trillion won, buoyed by strong sales of smartphones including the new flagship Galaxy S8. Analysts say the results indicate Samsung has recovered from the disastrous Galaxy Note 7 recall. That handset was axed after a battery fault led to some devices catching fire.
Samsung also launched a new phone in South Korea using parts form the Note 7 to "minimise the environmental impact" of its high-profile flop. Some research firms predict that Samsung is set to overtake Intel as the world's biggest chipmaker by sales this year.
2 Untreatable 'superbug' spreading (The Guardian) The World Health Organization has warned of the spread of totally untreatable strains of gonorrhoea after discovering at least three people with the superbug. Giving details of studies showing a “very serious situation” with regard to highly drug-resistant forms of the sexually transmitted disease (STD), WHO experts said it was “only a matter of time” before last-resort gonorrhoea antibiotics would be of no use.
“Gonorrhoea is a very smart bug,” said Teodora Wi, a human reproduction specialist at the Geneva-based UN health agency. “Every time you introduce a new type of antibiotic to treat it, this bug develops resistance to it.“ The WHO estimates 78 million people a year get gonorrhoea, an STD that can infect the genitals, rectum and throat.
The infection, which in many cases has no symptoms on its own, can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility, as well as increasing the risk of getting HIV.
3 A robot waitress in Pakistan (San Francisco Chronicle) The owners of a pizza shop in Pakistan say business is booming now that they've introduced a robot waitress. Osama Jafri, the engineer who designed the 25-kilogram robot, says it can greet customers and carry pizzas to their tables.
The robot resembles a short, slender woman wearing a long dress and apron. He says he wrapped a scarf around the robot's neck so as not to offend conservative patrons.
He says sales at Pizza.com, in the town of Multan, have doubled since the robot was unveiled in February. Jafri's father Aziz, who owns the restaurant, says he has three more robot waitresses and plans to open a new branch.